Although Kade Ruotolo has amassed plenty of incredible solo accomplishments, he’s still recognized around the world as part of a duo.
The 20-year-old and his brother, Tye Ruotolo, are known as the twin prodigies of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. And as Kade prepares for his next ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Title defense, he knows his sibling has played an integral role in his meteoric rise.
In fact, Kade cites Tye as the most important factor in his martial arts journey, which will continue against challenger Tommy Langaker in the co-main event of ONE Fight Night 11: Eersel vs. Menshikov on Prime Video this Friday, June 9.
The American phenom told ONEFC.com:
“I don’t think there’s been anything that’s helped me more single-handedly than my brother, as an athlete. Because there have been countless times where I don’t think I would have accomplished certain things without him.”
Growing up on the mats together and achieving almost unparalleled success throughout the colored-belt ranks in BJJ, the Ruotolos were still children when they first rose to prominence.
They’ve now realized every expectation people had placed on their young shoulders, and Kade credits this to always having an elite training partner around to pressure-test himself with.
Beyond that, their unique relationship has been like having a coach right there beside him to give advice – or the tough love that others might not – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“There are so many things [that Tye did to help me], from just the everyday scraps, the hour-long fights that we’ve just had in the garage until [someone] taps. Every war that we’ve ever had has really grown us into the athletes that we are today. We wouldn’t even be close to where we’re at without each other.
“I don’t think I would have won the ADCC [World Championship] if he wasn’t there. It’s just a couple of words that he told me beforehand. There are things that your brother will tell you that no one else will tell you. Like, ‘Dude, you actually sucked in that round. What are you doing?’ He’s just brutally honest, and you need that in order to grow.”
Kade Admits The Chaos Has Mellowed In Lifelong Battle With Tye
Kade Ruotolo says he’s never had a training partner as tough as his twin brother, Tye Ruotolo, who’s helped him develop into a physically and mentally unbreakable athlete.
As well as training at some of the best facilities in the world, the pair would go head-to-head at their home gym for hours. Those matchups could get pretty heated, but they forged them into resilient competitors.
“We grew up super tough with each other. And I think that’s why we love things like combat jiu-jitsu, we love MMA. We love things like that. We’re not shy from the fight. I think it’s because we’ve just been beating each other up our entire life.”
However, the reigning ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion does think that both brothers are mellowing now that they’ve reached their 20s and aren’t tearing lumps out of each other quite as often.
With the biggest accolades in the grappling world at stake in their professional careers, they must leave something in the tank for competition and adjust their intensity to a lower level – at least most of the time.
“Sometimes it got a little too crazy, for sure. Yeah, we try to keep it controlled now. But growing up, there’d be fights bursting all the time. I mean, a bloody nose here, a little cut there little.
“As of recently, we’ve been way better at it. I think we’re trying to mature and realize we can’t be fighting like that as much.”